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America 15, Us 4, Barack Obama 4, U.s. 4, Iran 3, Sarah Palin 2, Mitt Romney 2, Obama 2, United Nations 2, Juan Williams 2, Russia 2, Colombia 2, Israel 2, Washington 2, Indiana 2, Afghanistan 2, Europe 2, Acheson 1, Harry Truman 1, George Bush 1,
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    April 5, 2010
    9:30 - 10:00pm EDT  

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>> i feel differently than robert on this. supplies. i think this gets back to the on responsiveness of the government and i think that is complicated but i think we are very clear on some issues, not just african-americans but the country as a whole. when it comes to health care we are clear. poll after poll shows we want government financed health care system. we are very clear on that. we aren't we getting it -- we clearly want us to be out of iraq and afghanistan. we've escalated those wars at least in afghanistan. and i think this gets to -- anno this is heretical among black people, but i think in some ways it raises the question of what is -- people talk about how smart barack obama is and i never met him. i have no idea, but the first thing he did on the health care debate was to take single payer health care of the table. what good does that do?
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the employee free choice act for instance which we talk about in the chapter of the labor unions. this is something that really is as was originally offered was probably the most progressive piece of legislation in 50 years, and what it could have done was to strengthen labor unions and strengthen the democratic base. poll after poll shows most people to join labor unions. why would you not pass that piece of legislation, which would not just sort of strength and workers and their ability to sort of make a living and raise their family and contribute to the economy, which is actually what is wrong with the economy, but to also contribute your main base. ..
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you called call that a failed state. i have the opposite view. [inaudible] about race and a diverse society [inaudible]
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[inaudible] [inaudible] in the sense of the polls that you are looking at and talking about are asking people a basic question. and most of them say yes.
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what if all these people-- [inaudible] [inaudible] the reason why the opposition of barack obama is so girl and is it accomplishes to get that mindset. it is not just because he is
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listening to a few people who disagree with them. the majority of people feel strongly. >> u.s. may specifically, so i see what you are saying and i agree with you. it is no quinn says that if you look at a country like one piece i have thinking about writing recently is how chile in 1990 was faced with the almost exact same e-echo monaghan merriman, where they had this cycles of loman bust, where their economy was geared towards speculation and not production, and they switched course like that, and it is not perfect but they created basically almost from whole cloth really because been a shade ruined this country essentially and they created the most productive economy in latin america for the last 20 years and it is not a equipped to this country his wife. it is overwhelmingly white.
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i agree with you completely. argentina, look at what they have done over the last five or six years. i agree with you completely. it is is not a questions these countries are white but i do think there is, having said that, there is still a step in the industrial process that we never took and i think this happened in the 40s. we never sort of recognized our elites, our political class was clear they were never going to let what happened in europe where you have a working-class movement, a viable working-class movement, they were never going to look-- let that happen so if you look at the taft-hartley bill and we talked a little head about this in the book, but if you look at that that was intended to make sure we never had-- that is one of the reasons we don't have health care because wherever you have single-payer health care you have viable, robust unions so i think you are right. i agree completely, raises a
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huge component but i think it is more than that. it is the corruption of our political class and also the isolation of our political class and then of us, so i guess i am saying i agree with you to some extent. >> why don't we take two more questions and then you can talk personally with robert and jon so they can sign your books. don't forget they are honored by your presence but they would be more honored by your money so buy the book. this will be the last one. and then go buy the book. >> s., i must say that i agree with a lot but i disagree with some things. i think one of the big issues, i
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am from the caribbean and i grew up in europe. so-- i met tremendous resistance [inaudible] [inaudible] >> for him it was a step forward it was a step forward.
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[inaudible] some of the things you are talking about, it seems to me barack obama was the future for american politics. it sums up the move completely. one last thing. some feel that obama-- we are in a crisis.
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we have not found a consensus yet. [inaudible] steve black america is not going to throw barack obama away because they understand their own experience and you look at the polls even today, even where there is skepticism black america's not going to throw him away because they have been in this country too long and they understand, they understand that some of what was thrown at him was not legitimate. that may not be in their best interest to do but none of the polls so far suggest that black americans want to distance themselves in any real way from barack obama at this point. >> i agree with robert
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completely. i don't think you are ever going to see the black support for barack obama dip below the certainly 80% but i do think this. i don't think if things continue the way they are going, i don't think they are going to turn out for him in the next election. our presidential elections are not that complicated. there are a few states. i am from indiana. if the vote was today, he would not win indiana. he won't win ohio, he won't win pennsylvania. if you are telling me some laid-off auto employer whose unemployment benefits expired is going to vote for barack obama, i do not believe it, so i wrote a piece recently saying that i believe right now if i had to bet money i would say sarah palin would be the next president. if you really look at the history of this country and every time there has been any kind of come e. then when it didn't happen that when there was sort of recognition of this sort of idea from white--
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right-wing voters that there is some kind of egalitarian post-racial or 10 racial democracy happening, public schools and reconstruction, civil rights and black power movement when ronald reagan came to office. the business backlash that happened and it is based on two things. one is this white right wing anger, not all white people of course that this white right wing anger and people of color won't come out to the polls. they are announcing change. it is not relevant. doesn't matter if it is george bush or barack obama, they are not going to come out so i do think that is what we are looking at. >> if sarah palin is going to be the next president i'm going to run and get my ticket for canada. >> hi guys. congratulations on your book.
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i will make this very short. what do you think were the expectations for barack obama? the second part of that, i have never seen social change in this country, solely by the ballot box. social change has always been when there has been success in politics. real change is the change that has come by public movements, popular movements. i think in some ways, i would say the election of barack obama was an expression of that. my criticism of barack obama is not that he is a failure, because he has only been here a year, but that the movement has in some ways been abandoned. that is my critique of that movement, the movement that elected him that his campaign,
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the popular movement and i have to say finally that you spoke very adequately-- eloquently about the advance of democracy in this country and i think it is rooted in our historical socioeconomic position as being completely on the outside of democracy and continuing to push our way in and in some ways toward the front of it. so my point is i trust the wisdom of the african-american-. i don't think we made a mistake and i'm curious to see the answer at this point. >> i agree with you. i don't think they made a mistake either. i think it is the best possible candidate that i think you will understand this because we both understand chicago. if you look at how harold washington was elected, what was that now, 30 years ago, almost,
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almost 30 years ago, we talked about this in the book when we talked about republican windows and doors, a move that led workers that said we need change in the identified the candidate and said, and they made it happen. so what would happen? he didn't change the world obviously. he didn't fix everything that happened in the one term and the few days that he had but he was responsive to the people who elected him. who does barack obama have to be responsive to? i think that is the whole point that i was trying to make with what i contributed to the book, that we have been so isolated. there is no hope really for right now, there is no social movement to make him respond to so i agree. it is not barack obama stalled in some ways. what does he owe a labor unions when it only represents 12% of the workforce? nothing. >> this is the last one and you can ask the rest of your questions privately.
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>> robert, did your grandmother have a chance to read parts of the book? >> no, no she read the book and she said why, you didn't put that in there did you? [laughter] but no, it is interesting, she did read the book and share her political thought, my grandmother first of all when she was coming up didn't have time to think about all this. she said when i was raising 13 kids, that is how many kids she had, i didn't have time to look at tv and all that at her thoughts after election were interesting because she was always afraid. she was initially that he would be killed, like a lot of people, that something would happen to him but secondly she didn't have lots of expectations because she wasn't sure what he-- and that is where i talk about what he would be able to do. for her it was largely a symbolic thing that this guy would be elected president and
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particularly you know, six or seven months into his term because she got to see an entire year of his presidency, she was like obama, obama, obama is on tv all the time so it had become in some ways like every other politician. that is totally different from her daughter who was a primary caregiver who was sort of a big supporter and who used to fight with jon and i about what is wrong with you while? why are you asking all these questions about this man? my grandmother live longer and didn't have as much believe that the political structure wasn't going to change as much with just the election of this one man. >> thank you all for coming. let's give them a hand. [applause] go buy some books.
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>> now former governor and presidential candidate, mitt romney. he was her guest on after words to discuss his book, 78-- "no apology," said the eight. this is one hour. >> coming up next book tv presents for after words, an hour-long program where we invite guest host to interview authors. this week, former massachusetts governor and republican presidential candidate subboard discusses his new book, "no apology" the case for american greatness. in it he examines what he believes are the greatest challenges to the nation today and provides his own blueprint for american progress in the years to come. he expected 2012 candidate talks with juan williams of national public radio. >> host: i am juan williams.
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today on after words mitt romney. governor thanks for joining us. his new book is called "no apology" the case for american greatness. subwar, everybody assumes this book is the kickoff to your 2012 presidential campaign. are they write? >> guest: it is too early to 12. i haven't made a decision in that regard and frankly the book has come from my experience over the years working in the private sector, working in other countries and seeing that some of those countries are making a lot of progress. we have always assumed we are way ahead of the rest of the world and other nations are catching up at my concern is if we don't recognize the source of our greatness and take action to shore up the fundamentals of americans, america's vitality that we could find ourselves being eclipsed by the nation so this is a book saying america, let's wake up and do what we always do, rise to the occasion. let's rebuild our strength and provide for our kids and their kids a bright future. >> host: now, part of this
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seems to be especially in the early parts of the book, a critique of president obama. and specific it has caught the attention of people around washington that you said his outreach to some nations and specific muslim nations has been kindling for people who hate america and who wish america the worse. is that right? >> guest: i think he made an enormous error that hurt his credibility and hurt our national interest by carrying out if you will in the first months of his presidency a form of apology to her, a series of statements saying that america has been divisive, that we have been dismissive, that america is arrogant, that we don't listen to the concerns of others, that america has dictated to other nations. i don't think that is historically accurate. i think america has freed other nations from dictators. we have not been dictating other nations but with that being said i think it is created the
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impression that our conviction and our principles are wavering and they are not. i think that was a mistake on the president's part. i think instead a foreign policy consistent with the values in the prescript is where prescribed by harry truman and dean acheson following the second world war is the more appropriate course of america's way forward. >> host: i think in the book you say the u.s. is good in it is good for the u.s. to be strong, but then in talking about some of the things that president obama has done an especially in the foreign-policy area, you seem to suggest that he is diminishing american. the democratic national committee by the way, issued a statement that said americans in the last election rejected radical foreign-policy authored by dick cheney and wholeheartedly adapted by matt romney and this policy would alienate allies and embolden enemies. what do you think? >> guest: i don't have a lot to say about the dnc and what kind of screen they are going to
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put up at the areas where i think the president disappointed a lot of folks including myself was for instance when the honduran supreme court said that they are anti-american, pro-chavez president violated the constitution and their military removed him from office. our president said put him back which i think surprise folks and i think that was an inappropriate action. when colombia seeks a special status with the united states on a trade basis, colombia standing up to the gauche chavez, we deny him that special status. that i think is a mistake. when he goes before the united nations and speaks for the first time and chastises israel in front of the united nations but has nothing to say about the palestinian group hamas launching 7000 rockets in israel, that is a mistake and of course the decision to withdraw our support for missile defense from poland and the czech republic web those great friends to be very concerned about america's willingness to stand with them.
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at the same time, perhaps designed to re-sever relations. we got nothing for it from russia so i'm afraid the steps that he took have confused our friends, made our foes if you will continue headlong and in some cases to a course not helpful to the world. you have both iran pursuing its nuclear following headlong in north korea of course did nuclear test even as the president was speaking, carried out various tests. this is, in my opinion, an indication that they thought the president was not going to be a strong defender of american values and american principles, human rights, democracy, free trade, free enterprise, those words of apology and the statements have emboldened those who find us as a weekend enemy. >> host: in the book you make the argument that it is important to keep america strong
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and keep america as a leading presence in terms of world affairs. in specific, and dealing with iran for example and their rising nuclear ambitions, you say it is important to say right now to iran before anything happens, that if they were to take any action that america would devastate them, that there would be a response that would be nuclear and devastating. >> guest: to some degree we have made that statement to the world but i think it is important to world understands that if nations are going to seek nuclear status as iran is quite obviously doing, if they seek that status and they obtain fissile material, that if that fissile material finds its hands or its way into the hands of people who use it somewhere, that our response will not just be to the terrorist organization that uses it, but potentially as well to the nation that provided it. and as a result i think people of iran might ask themselves, do
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we really want to have fissile material in our country? do we want to have the risk of being called into the circle of suspects in the event of a nuclear event in the world sometime over the next couple of decades? i think people should recognize becoming nuclear has an enormous peril and that is that your material might get out, it might be used and the united states may respond against that nation as it went against whoever used the nuclear device. >> host: so you think the ayatollahs would be fearful than? >> guest: i think the people of iran would grow in recognition that becoming a nuclear nation is not solely a matter of pride. but becoming a nuclear nation has associated with it an enormous downside, but there is a risk to be nuclear, that somehow your regime does not carefully manage the fissile material and it becomes use somewhere in the world your nation might be subject to retaliation. i think the people of iran need
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to understand very clearly the downside to becoming a nuclear nation. i also wish that this president and prior presidents have been successful in dissuading iran remits folly by exacting and enacting very tough sanctions against iran. iranian citizens, business people and political leaders ought to know that when you violate the nuke leer non-proliferation treaty that the consequences are going to be severe. they ought to know military options are on the table and while those are on the table, those that are actively employed will be a very crippling sanctions. we simply have not been successful in putting in place those kinds of actions. >> host: you'd do believe any say in the book that america remains the leading military power in the world. but at the same time you say there is a need for increased spending on defense and you worry in the book then and that this administration and others have not put enough money into defense spending. you tell a really funny story about seeing a guy with a sign
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that says more than half of the u.s. budget goes to defense spending but when you break it down actually you can include money spent by the chinese, the chinese are outspending us and others are trying to diminish our lead in terms of military money. >> guest: of course you can understand the sentiment of other nations is that they would like to get stronger. you are not trying to dissuade the chinese from saying they are going to build their military but we have to make an honest assessment of the threats that exist in the world and the missions are military might be called upon to carry out. our military has a far broader array of responsibilities and missions that lets the nation like china or russia or other nations in the world and to protect ourselves, to protect their sea legs and respond to the humanitarian crises to have a nuclear deterrent against a nuclear threat and the list goes on and on and on of the various challenges are military has. in